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5 Steps to Experimental Style

Lesson 8 from: From Images to Art: Storytelling in Wedding Photography

Jim Garner

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Lesson Info

8. 5 Steps to Experimental Style

Lesson Info

5 Steps to Experimental Style

So I promised to use this approach you have a very large positive impact on your business and personal fulfillment as an artist huge cassiano photography in two thousand one was the way it wass many didn't see each other beforehand on dh didn't have experience we were just pictured taker's there's no other option now it's changed completely okay so for most cultures the wedding traditions celebration can last entire date even multiple days I've shared with you that so we got to keep in mind why it's so important for story shooting and I'll explain it right now here it is this is a big one relationships and experience equal memories okay fair mohr experiences that we create to help create or influence through our work by visually showing them the more stories that we get to capture for them the more stories we capture for our clients the more spreads required to show their entire story correct this is making sense more spreads more profit, by the way there's a creative element that we j...

ust talked about that also comes in here better experience that they have the more referrals come to you from their friends and family although brought a party where I've purchased champagne for everybody I told the story the champagne being popped told the story of them pouring the glasses and cheers that's two three spreads right there that took me two or three seconds to photograph but better experience he goes more referrals those same people that you purchased that champagne for are gonna want you to photograph their wedding right so the more referrals that you get the more refinement of you work towards that look right onward and upward onward and upward it is so much fun doing this technique thes experiential style and that is letting go the boulder on the hill let it go just stop holding it up every one of you so uh let's talk about impact I want to actually share with you what it looks like how cool is that I have it's really old okay bear with me I found this old video that we're photographing experience when I first taught about it's maybe six, seven years ago and we videotaped what happens when you stop taking pictures and you start just letting them enjoy you set the scene I put my my clients in good light and then I go and I can't get by some champagne they think it's about the pictures and you go you know what you guys it's not about pictures enjoy you walk away the second you go like this they start to enjoy yourself and then you get to come back and photograph in a photo journalistic candid way okay, so let's take a look while back our court is probably six years old or so and I'm gonna show you three four weddings this's the moment I walked away okay, so they're gonna break in the song. None of these people, by the way, knew we were going to do this. I always keep it a secret except with the bride and groom. I said we use that time to drink some champagne. Have fun. Look what they're singing their college flights fight song you hear on the bar and it's fun you take the bride and groom everyone's having the champagne you could do some stylized moments with the bride and groom look clicking the champagne here's a wedding number two it's not about the photos anymore it's about celebrating what a wedding should be celebrated for, not as the experiences right, how fun is that third wedding terrible lighting there, though I would have loved to turn off the overheads. Look there's me and you see me just grab that shot um wide angle lens on just faster lenses indoors at first they don't get it at first they don't understand what you're doing, but I guarantee if you walk away, the moment happened actually that's the experience stop now. Since I've been doing so long and we find it for so long, they asked for it. They called, they said, we really want to that experience things that you do can we are friends got additional time is it okay if we do this with you as well? Look, I just grabbed the shot with the guys just hey grabbed a real cooking then I stepped back and let them enjoy that champagne together so important thing to share with you is that it's really not difficult? It's just not a difficult process at all is it requires you to show something that gets them excited rule number one you got to show it so I want to take the opportunity getting that into the graphics studio young book sample program we're going talk about tomorrow when we got you get to have a complimentary book to start your portfolio. The young book so is two hundred, one hundred and sixty three hundred ninety three dollars values to fifty value for the complimentary uh uh starter book that you could put your own images in this report fully to get you started making an experience a wedding give the time away for free, okay? And that will start the ball rolling for you. All right, you get remind me how many spreads in that thirty six thirty two thirty two um pages in your starter book as well thirty two pages guys, this is great really get you going so we're going to bring that up tomorrow I'm going to really show you all the graphics studio young books and get you excited for that journey it starts by visually showing them so here's some images I shot from that they could see it was a long time we are not refined but shows the expression right and look I story told the bride and groom in two different locations we move up we do some stylized moments energy's high so you can't help it get beautiful expression because you've energy ratcheted to this new level these are all simple images but there's a single image spread certainly uh single image bred in their book a little bit older style looks like I was just starting to refine it but let me teach you how to sell this style beyond visually showing well vision showing it's one of the huge steps so the salad goes against um first you do what I did with you you describe other cultures to your client's hey do you know that in parts of the world the wedding day isn't just three four hours actually it could be all day long could be multiple days why in america I'm just speaking on from my world I said why in our culture y in america does the wedding only have to be six hours of time it should be longer I hope that our hourly rate one hundred twenty five dollars an hour that we were I hope that hasn't influenced you how about we give you additional time is our gift to you to do something wonderful that experience your day so you must first before you give anything away in any art sale you must communicate the value of that gift. So we have learned by refining this and refine its that we want our hourly to be very expensive. So now our hourly is five hundred dollars per hour he's five fifty um now why do we have it so expensive? Because we want to give it away were signing a value to that gift, you know? And I'm gonna teach you tomorrow actually, I'm gonna teach you today uh that in the sales portion I it's really exciting. We could create a custom proposal, give away free time and subtract thousand dollars off the bottom line of your quote because you want to give them a wonderful free gift on the front end of their day or whatever you choose to use it to make more experiences for them. It sells you flat out, it will sell your service so give it away it's the tenfold rule I call it if you give something to your client after assigning value to it something that they really value and that's why orry their minds to both the spreads and the time that you produced allows you to give it away? It'll come back to you tenfold and it does. It comes back tenfold in the form of the album spread sales by the way, we make our album spreads double page spreads equally equally valuable two hundred fifty dollars per additional spread because we want to give those away, too, in order to convince them to do that so well say in the percussive proposal, we'll give you two free hours and two complimentary don't say free, we say complimentary our gift to you authentic gift to you two additional spreads so that we have area to fill that additional time. And the reality is, if you give me two hours, I mean the champagne opening cracking out by itself. Dallas two three spreads okay, if you've properly or into their minds to your design, your art, your refined look that you have. So remember the rule this is number four here, the rule is hey, I'm gonna give this time not for photos it's nothing to do with the camera, it's not because I need more time to photograph you it's for you to experience that you have to communicate that in order to sell this, otherwise they think you're just trying to add timeto have a big long photo shoot doesn't make sense. That's rule number four big deal, but bottom line visually, and I'm gonna show you this with my graphic studio books another reason to be art connected is that I have visually could show them the difference between an experiential wedding day and a non experience a wedding and here it is because showing what you want to sell really works it's gonna fly in here here comes left book an experiential storybook right book standard a book do you think if I showed my clients the difference between those two do you think they would want a standard a book? No they're going to sign on to the experience no, I overemphasizes by showing a parent's eyes book sure you could have but if you were to open this experiential book you see multiple locations expression, joy, fun, amazing amazing story line and the standard a book it is what it is it's beautiful nonetheless is gorgeous just more concentrated visually show them and you will do it every single time so evolution of the style it's about the baby steps that has turned into extraordinary stuff for us wait baby stepped into this destination weddings and I told you earlier that um somehow through the video you know, we didn't do the station when it is because we have little little little people at home and we really need to stay home so we focused on local community but after he did this promo video, I don't know something happened I'd say half of all of our wedding's at least a third of all of our weddings now are somewhere outside of seattle and I knew that I wanted not only do single books for him as I described earlier but multiple volume books and so I said my goal out to be five years from now I want to do nothing but multiple volume books because I know that the prophet with that it's just unbelievable and so it works perfectly with destination weddings give away the experience the engagement shoot the day you get there you d'oh the rehearsal dinner you do on this case the boat cruise uh they had in this case the um uh what else do we do? We have boat crews be an engagement shoot we had the wedding day of course we did a next day photo shoot in their hotel I mean, they're in same hotel on the top floor that I was staying I said I'll meet you in the morning will do some photos if you like absolutely really would you do that first off course I will ok. And then, uh some departure images. Okay, so all of that was done complimentary, but they hired us and we gave him a custom proposal that hired us for was just their wedding day, so obviously we didn't have enough to fill the commitment of spreads was like thirty five spreads okay, but we shot enough to fill two books as I explained to you earlier um I called them up I said it's my fault I shot too many beautiful stories for you but I will take care of this for you tell you what instead of buying individual spread level one should just buy another book and I'll fill that thing to the brim with stories sure enough double volume book was born I visually we created double volume book binder holds to actually do you have that here yeah there it is this is their book but you need a hand truck to get it over here though thank you, kara ok this is the book big seeds travel a little bit too leather bound absolutely gorgeous handcrafted in italy this is a great graphic studio um leather bound book and let's take a look at the covers so this is the acrylic cover that gorgeous and here we go poli different story now the look has been refined every spread has a purpose it's took second place in w p p ay last year and I want to play this for you now if you like so let's see here let's dive in wait wait theo wait wait e had asked for this I want to show you something really cool because rule number one in sales is what you want to do it you got a shot right so I want to do the young book now it's just brandy pride from graphics to you if you talk about it and actually it's part of prizes, we running, uh, stuff right now. So I, of course, ordered a version of this book in the young stop, because I want to redirect everybody to this new, wonderful style. So here it is. It just arrived. Let me give you a tour, would put this one down. I got right here. Thank you. Uh, check this out. It couldn't be more excited. Oh, my god, with the box comes every, always come with the box coolest thing ever. And here we go, a totally different place. We're going down with our books. Don't you want to be associated with art like this? So absolutely lovely. You've seen the stories don't have to go through it all. But what a beautiful presentation and thank you to my friends in graphics studio for bringing that to us.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Foldable Field Guide
10 Steps to Success

Ratings and Reviews

Ester Knowlen Photography

LOVE LOVE LOVE all the bits on how to create a wow shot without stressing about getting it/catching it by chance. So SPOT on!! A little bit of planning, a little bit of vision, and great ideas/recipe for amazing "wow" shots that are prompted and genuine (unique just like the people we shoot), rather than stressed over and chased. :) Amazing video!! :) Thanks Jim Garner!!

222 N 43rd Pl

This is such an amazing course. It is my first purchase that I have made with Creative Live and I couldn't be more pleased. Jim shared so much information and so many insights. It's great to be able to watch the segments over, picking up something new every time. Taking volumes of notes! I am starting to implement Jim's approach to photography—storytelling. I am just starting out in wedding photography and am so excited to have found this gem tutorial! I would highly recommend this to any photographer who wants to take their work from photographs to art.

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